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Splay Or Spraddle Leg

Splay or spraddle leg is a condition that mostly occurs in baby birds, where a bird has one or both legs spread (splayed) laterally from the hip or stifle.

Margaret A. Wissman, DVM
Posted: August 7, 2013, 11:00 a.m. PDT


This condition occurs in baby birds that have one or both legs spread (splayed) laterally from the hip or stifle.


Splay leg is usually the result of a recently hatched bird being unable to support its own body weight, such as certain types of cockatoos that are heavy-bodied.


Keep these baby birds in a small container that doesn’t allow their legs to spread to the side and provide some sort of material to give them traction.


Birds already demonstrating splay leg can have the deformity corrected if caught early on. Pack the bird in a deep cup with a towel or tissue for padding and take the pressure off the legs. You avian vet may have a creative method, such as placing the bird in a piece of foam with slits for the legs, to correct deformities.

Disclaimer:’s Bird Health section is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your bird’s health if you suspect your pet is sick. If your pet is showing signs of illness or you notice changes in your bird’s behavior, take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

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